Forever Changing How You View Greek and Roman Art

Sam Warnke

Operations Associate

WARNING: Reading this will forever change how you view Greek and Roman art FOR THE BETTER. 

If I say “GREEK STATUE,” your mind probably imagines some freakishly toned god or goddess made of milky white marble or weathered dark bronze. Little did you know, that couldn’t be further from how things really looked. The ancient Greeks and Romans were known to regularly paint their marble sculptures in garishly bright colors and bronze statues would have been polished to a flesh-like pale brown with everything from inset eyes to copper nipples. COPPER NIPPLES. They kept it real. Maybe too real. 

While there’s something beautifully minimal about the ways museums display ancient Greek and Roman art, we challenge you to imagine eyes like these 2,500-year-old stone and bronze eyes popped into the next ancient bronze statue you come across. The Greek and Roman galleries at the Met will never feel the same once you’ve seen more of what things would have really looked like. 

These beauties can be found in Gallery #156 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. To check them out on a Museum Hack museum adventure, go to

SOURCES: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Smithsonian, COLOURlovers  

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